We are all smart people. We have our businesses, offices, run teams, have people on the payroll. We are bosses! Hey, we got here all by ourselves, and we are doing quite well, thank you very much. And now they tell us we need a business coach. We don’t, do we? Who needs a business coach, anyway?
The one who needs a broader perspective
You are a professional with a decent career. You have spent some years working in the corporate world, you have seen the industry’s highs and lows, and you feel the need for starting on your own. You take the plunge. The buzz of the start-up fills your veins, and you are conquering the world. Nothing can stop you. Except for a printer that won’t connect and refuses to print that proposal you’ve been working on half the night. This is when you realise that you are not only the leader of your organisation, but you are also its IT department, HR consultant, and PR specialist.
Each is important, and tasks that are urgent take priority. You are a firefighter. Unfortunately, not the kind that poses for calendars holding kittens. You are engulfed in the day to day of your business. Keeping in touch with your operations and knowing who does what is essential, of course, but if you meant to have a strategy day 8 weeks ago and it never happened, it’s a warning sign. You love your business. Otherwise, you would not have started it. This passion is precious, and you owe it to yourself and to your team to protect it. They look to you for leadership, for guidance. Keep that big picture, regain that spark, and protect it from the mundane. Hard times will come – but seeing the wood for the trees makes it easier to survive, even thrive in the face of the difficulty.
The one who does well – but feels they can do better
Struggling businesses do not need a coach. They need intervention. Something to get them out of trouble, and fast. Those who are doing well, on the other hand, often have reserves of potential. And they know it. They sense it is close, yet not close enough. The point of frustration is getting closer. Sounds familiar? A coach becomes a detective that unearths that reason. Not only that, they will use it as a building block, a ladder to get you up there. And, most likely, get a little bit higher. And higher. And higher.
The one who looks for a sounding board
Ideas are great. They excite us, make the business thrilling. And, to make business sense, they need an appropriate amount of resources. Otherwise, they are just theory. A coach acts as a sounding board, reserves the judgement, and allows your creativity to flourish. When they need to, they play the devil’s advocate and share insights about where potential blind spots may hide (exciting ideas overwhelm reason at times). They use their experience to hunt the red herrings down and nurture the golden eggs. Use them!
The one who’s tired of not getting it done
There are two faces of accountability:
• setting goals for the sake of setting goals (a tell-tell sign is when you are spending longer on making lists than on the tasks, or when you are so exhausted after making a list that you are happiest not looking at it ever again),
• and making it work.
I champion the latter. Sharing your ambitions with another person makes them ‘official,’ a little bit more real. If that person happens to be a coach trained in putting structures in place to get things done, you will likely create a roadmap utilising your existing resources. It’s a journey from a ‘pie in the sky’ to a recipe. Moreover, you get a list of ingredients and where to find them. Yes, of course, things happen, and it may be that stores run out of flour again, but what I see changing in my clients is their reaction. An obstacle like that used to mean: I can’t do it now. Today they say: let’s see what we can substitute it with. And we keep going.
The one who wants clarity on what is a tactic and what is a strategy
There are apps, tools, system aids. Social channels are full of shiny new opportunities to buy exposure, get that pay-per-click ad up and running. They are fashionable, load, we seem to be seeing them every time we turn our screens on – and they can be useful. In certain circumstances. Why am I suddenly writing about digital shortcuts? Because they are oh, so tempting. And it is easy to get engulfed in all of that newness. Suppose you are using them to support your strategy – excellent. If you, however, notice yourself using them as your strategy, that may lead to trouble. All those elements are tactics, tools to make your strategy happen. They are numerous and may change as your business grows, but the strategy should be the one constant force in your business. Working with a coach makes it easier to define which is which.
Perhaps the most valuable characteristic of a business coach is the ability to change perspectives: keeping the broad perspective and shining a spotlight at a specific system that could use tweaking or highlighting a small change that has the potential of making a big difference. Being a part of a business, even – or maybe most significantly – as its leader, we are often too close to it. Even Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner psychologist and economist, is warning us against the ‘inside view’. Working with a coach is a way of getting the best of both.
If that sounds like something you would like to discover for your business, message me; let us see if we can make it happen for your business.
Falguni Desai
E: [email protected]
M: 07721 654640
W: https://actioncoach.co.uk/coaches.falguni-desai